How Julia Hartz Trailblazed Her Way to Become CEO of the World’s Largest Event Tech Platform

Julia Hartz became Chief Executive Officer of online ticketing platform Eventbrite in 2016, the company she co-founded in 2006 and bootstrapped for two years.

Hartz doesn’t have the typical entrepreneur background. Growing up, she was a ballet dancer, a training that she says instilled in her an ability to take direction.

The tech executive studied communications and broadcast journalism at Pepperdine University in Malibu. After graduating, Hartz began her career in television at channels such as MTV and FX on programs including The Shield and Nip/Tuck.

After over a decade in the media world, Hartz met her husband, formerly the boss at MTV. Mr. Hartz was an early investor in PayPal and a serial entrepreneur and ignited Julia’s desire to get into the tech world, where things moved faster than TV.

In 2005, the couple was enthusiastic about democratizing ticketing for events, allowing anyone from conferences to political rallies and gaming competitions, to sell tickets. The service also sent the data back to organizers to help future event planning.

Now the world’s largest event technology platform, Eventbrite processes tickets in over 180 countries around the world, facilitating over 2 million events per year and the sale of 2 million tickets per week. The company has received multiple awards for workplace culture, including Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces in the U.S., and San Francisco Business Times’ Best Places to Work in the SF bay area for seven consecutive years.

Through Eventbrite, Hartz hopes to inspire people to "live more" and come together through live experiences. Looking back on her own path to lead Eventbrite, she told the Huffington Post in how important it is to act without fear.

“Now I can see it, but in the beginning I don’t think I knew that I was inhibiting my own growth or the company’s growth because of fear – fear of failure, fear of mistakes, general fear. It’s honestly one of the biggest blockers in humanity and if you can elevate yourself out of being driven by fear, it’s so incredibly life-changing and transformative.”